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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rhod Gilbert ...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Tommy Cooper ...
Himself (archive footage)
Tom O'Connor ...
Himself
...
Himself
Betty Jones ...
Herself - Tommy Cooper's Cousin
Barry Cryer ...
Himself
David Beckley ...
Himself - Magic Circle
David Ball ...
Himself - Tommy Cooper's Bank Manager
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Documentary

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23 February 2007 (UK)  »

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(archive footage)|
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Quotes

[reminiscing about Tommy]
Barry Cryer: He once said to me: "There are a hundred brilliant magicians in this country. I'm going to be the idiot." He'd thought it through. "There isn't a fool about at the moment. I'm going to be the fool." Because he could have done the act straight and been brilliant. But no.
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Short Biography of the Great Entertainer
24 April 2014 | by (London) – See all my reviews

This half-hour biography of the great entertainer offers little in the way of new insights into his life. Born in Wales, Cooper grew up in a close-knit community, but only really blossomed into a full-fledged artist during World War II, when he became a magician and discovered that he could make people laugh as well. After an apprenticeship at London's Windmill Theatre, where he provided comic relief in between the nude tableaux, Cooper embarked on a career in television and variety, cultivating a unique comic persona with his huge frame, large feet and lithe movement. Off-stage was a different matter; frequently unsure about his ability to make audiences laugh, he took to drinking quite heavily, and by all accounts was quite an unpleasant person once he'd had too much. He died during a live performance at London's Her Majesty's Theatre in 1984. This documentary contains at least two memorable moments: Cooper's cousin remembers him as being fond of his family, despite being openly unfaithful to his wife Gwen (whom he called Dove), while Barry Cryer, in a moment of rare insight, describes his "art" as something intangible. Cooper had that rare gift of making audiences laugh, even when he made the slightest movement or told the corniest joke. While being an excellent magician, he played the buffoon onstage to great effect. Even today his television performances still raise a smile, three decades after his passing.


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